Activate ReciteMe accessibility assistance Download this page Print this page

Self-Harm

As a parent it can be very frightening to discover that your young person has harmed themselves on purpose. There are two main reasons that young people self-harm. As a way to manage strong and overwhelming emotions or as a way of reconnecting with life or their body. Many young people want to protect their family or friends from their feelings, self-harm can be habit forming and a way for the young person to cope.

Self-harm can take many forms and is usually something which is private and secret for the young person:

• Cutting
• Burning, including with lighters or aerosol cans
• Punching or hitting themselves
• Poisoning
• Excessive exercise
• Overeating or starving themselves.

If at any point you are worried that your young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

  • What to look out for in your young person?
    • Unexplained bruises, cuts or burns often on the inside of wrists, arms, tops of thighs or chest
    • Keeping covered up regardless of the weather
    • Signs of low mood, such as tearfulness, lack of interest in normal hobbies and activities, and not seeing friends as much
    • Talking about not being good enough
    • Changes in their weight
    • Becoming more secretive and withdrawn from family and friends
    • Beginning to use or misuse drugs or alcohol.

  • •Seek medical attention if you are worried that they have seriously harmed themselves - this may mean calling 111 or 999

    • Keep calm. Try not to respond emotionally or angrily towards the young person

    • Provide space and time to enable the young person to feel able to share with you if they want to, when they want to

    • Remember that they are still the same young person who you know and love

    • Don’t ask for promises that they won’t do it again or forbid them from doing it again 

    • Make sure that they see their doctor for further assessment. It might help to go with them, but they may need to see the doctor on their own

    • Look after your own emotional wellbeing. Recovery from self-harming behaviours can be a long process for the young person. They need to discover new ways to manage their emotion.

  • Reading Well for young people

    Books about mental health for 13 to 18 year olds, with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, bullying and exams.

    All Shelf Help books can be reserved for free from any Norfolk library, or online by clicking here. The books are available to borrow for up to six weeks.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

It may also be helpful to speak to the young person’s head of year or a teacher with pastoral responsibility so they can offer further support in school.

Useful Videos

Log In / Create an account

  • Happy Saturday! https://t.co/2HHJNVBx8P is here to provide you with health related advice on anything from childhoo… https://t.co/fWeNIOsvIY NorfolkCYP / 16 February 2019
  • #NorfolkCan 🎾 🏓 https://t.co/p7BPAoZCc2 NorfolkCYP / 15 February 2019
  • Some excellent feedback for our North Norfolk Health Visiting Team! #GoTeamCCS #CCSFeedback https://t.co/MezEhs8HVO NorfolkCYP / 14 February 2019
  • Do you search on the internet when you are worried about your poorly child? You can't always be sure you can trust… https://t.co/xghT7he8ke NorfolkCYP / 14 February 2019
  • Have you seen the Just1Norfolk Health Passport app for 16-19 year olds? A great source of health related advice! Av… https://t.co/VBNw75Pwwo NorfolkCYP / 14 February 2019
  • Have you signed up for FREE online Solihull yet? The course gives you an undersanding of why children behave the wa… https://t.co/yKMwjMukxD NorfolkCYP / 13 February 2019
  • RT @SDuneclift: Attending @homestartnor AGM, great partnership working @NorfolkCYP https://t.co/iw0puywRbG NorfolkCYP / 13 February 2019
  • RT @PHE_uk: #Norovirus can survive for days or even weeks on hard surfaces. Cleanliness is vital to stop it spreading. Clean and disinfect… NorfolkCYP / 12 February 2019
  • The JustOneNumber team are here Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm to provide you with advice and help you with appointmen… https://t.co/4qwVydDs2c NorfolkCYP / 12 February 2019
  • RT @VegPowerUK: Sweetcorn Week is here. Watch out for the #sweetcorn - sunshine makes them stronger! Show us how you are defeating them thi… NorfolkCYP / 11 February 2019

Our Partners

Close the mobile menu